Did you know that the liver is the largest solid organ in your body? Well yes, the liver is located in the right upper quadrant of your abdomen and partly protected by the ribs. You need your liver for many important bodily functions and cannot live without your liver. For this reason, you should know the early signs of liver damage and take care of your liver as much as you possibly can. The experts say that there are more than a hundred different kinds of diseases of the liver. Each has its own set of symptoms. Some of these diseases include alcoholic liver disease, hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis of the liver. The early signs of liver disease tend to be easily overlooked and are non-specific, related to any number of different conditions.
In this article we are going to mention the most common early signs of liver damage. Note: you should be very careful, and if you notice any of these warning signs or symptoms – you should see your doctor immediately:
- Abdominal Changes
If you experience pain or cramping in the lower part of the abdomen or feel especially bloated, this can mean that you have ascites and a malfunctioning liver. Ascites is one of the early signs of liver damage and basically means that fluid has built up inside the abdominal cavity. It can happen whenever there is damage to the liver or liver cirrhosis. You can also get ascites from disorders unrelated to the liver, so you should seek medical attention if you develop this symptom.
What’s jaundice? Jaundice is a yellow coloration to the skin, tongue, fingertips, and eyes. Jaundice is from an increase in bilirubin in the bloodstream and in the bodily tissue that would normally be excreted in the bile. Bilirubin builds up when old red blood cells are broken down inside the liver. It causes the skin to become yellow. Jaundice can also mean you have a problem with the pancreas or gallbladder, so you should seek medical attention as soon as you can if you develop this symptom.
- Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is usually pain in the right upper quadrant of the rib cage where the liver is located. When it is malfunctioning, there can be pain or tenderness in the affected area.
- Alterations in the Color of Urine
You drink plenty of water every day, but still have a dark color of your urine! Well, you should know that this may be one of the early signs of liver damage. The urine may look brown, amber, or orange in color because of elevated levels of bilirubin in the bloodstream. The bilirubin is elevated because the liver cannot get rid of the bilirubin and it is excreted through the kidneys. Dark urine may also be due to dehydration, side effects of taking antibiotics, taking B vitamin supplements, urinary tract infections, enzyme deficiencies or kidney abnormalities.
- Increase in Skin Itching
Your skin becomes more sensitive in liver deficiency and often itches and flakes, being hypersensitive to touch. You may experience an increase in bruising and an increase in the visibility of the veins in the body. You can try to keep the skin moisturized with lotion, but the itching and skin sensitivity probably won’t get better until the actual liver problem is properly identified and taken care of.
- Changes in Stool Coloration
When your liver is damaged, it won’t produce enough bile, which means that the color of your stool will change. Instead of being brown, it can become pale yellow, clay colored, or gray in appearance. So, if you notice this, then you should see your doctor immediately.
- Fatigue and Overall Weakness
One of the most common signs of liver damage is fatigue and weakness. When the liver isn’t working properly, your body must work harder and you will need more rest. This is due to an increase in toxins in the bloodstream that can’t be cleared out because the liver can’t get rid of the toxins properly. If the symptoms persist, especially with other early signs of liver damage, seek medical advice as soon as you can.
- Lack of Appetite
Well, you should know that this usually happens due to a lack of production of bile that helps digest the fat in the diet. When food isn’t properly digested, it can lead to a lack of appetite and a weight loss. See your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms for a long period of time.
- Fluid Retention
One of the most common signs and symptoms of liver damage is fluid retention, especially in the ankles and feet. This is similar to ascites except the fluid is building up in the outer tissues in the lower extremities. There are many other causes of fluid retention, including kidney problems, hormonal imbalances, heart failure and lymphatic disease.
- Nausea and Vomiting
Yes, you are likely to get nausea and vomiting. They can mimic other diseases, such as migraines, food poisoning, vertigo, motion sickness, early pregnancy, depression and vomiting. It can mimic kidney problems as well. Those who suffer from liver damage often feel persistently nauseous, because the liver has a decreased ability to rid the body of toxins.
- Intestinal Bleeding, Diarrhea or Constipation
The liver makes clotting factors and without them, you can get bleeding of the intestines associated with diarrhea or constipation.
Damaged liver produces less protein necessary for blood clotting, which causes bruising and bleeding. Check with your doctor because this may indicate some problems, such as arthritis and others.
Note: you should know that this is not the complete list of early signs of liver damage. For example, an improperly functioning liver can also cause problems in the balance of sex hormones so that men can develop breasts, and both men and women can suffer from a loss of libido. And, as we said before, if you notice any of these warning signs or symptoms – you should see your doctor immediately! We really hope you find this article helpful and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family. Thank You.